Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN in New York

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Statement by H.E. Mr. Hynek Kmonicek, Ambassador, Permanent Representative

Agenda item 53 - Question of equtable representation and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters (October 12, 2004)

Agenda item 53 - Question of equtable representation and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters (October 12, 2004)

Mr. President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates

Since the Czech Republic has been actively involved throughout the years in the discussions on the reform of the Security Council, allow me to make few points with regard to this topic.

More than eleven years after the start of the discussion on the Security Council enlargement, the Open Ended Working Group has been unable to come up with a realistic, politically acceptable solution that would strengthen the role and functioning of the Security Council. In this respect, we await the report of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons that should place UN reform, including the reform of the Security Council, in a wider context of global threats and challenges.

Mr. President,

Let me briefly reiterate the position of the Czech Republic. My country is an advocate of the enlargement of the Council in both categories; our choice would be 5 additional permanent seats and 4 - 5 additional non-permanent seats. We believe that the criteria for selecting new permanent members should reflect the overall influence of the candidates on world affairs, taking into account political, economic, military, or cultural aspects. Their readiness to participate in safeguarding international peace and security and capability to take over greater financial responsibility are crucial for the permanent membership. In particular, we support the aspirations of Germany and Japan for permanent seats, as well as allocation of other three new permanent seats for Africa, Asia and Latin America. There is no doubt that new permanent members from among the developing countries will help to increase the credibility of the Council.

As to the question of veto, we continue to favor some reduction of areas where the veto can be applied, possibly through voluntary commitments by permanent members and other steps that do not necessarily require Charter amendments.

Mr. President,

The Czech Republic considers itself a reform-minded country. We have no vested interest in the reform, except for a better functioning and a greater authority of the Security Council. We share the majority view that the composition of the Council should be adjusted to the current state of affairs. Present situation is unsustainable; it undermines legitimacy of the Council's decisions and therefore calls for an action.

Thank you for your attention.